CARBO ANIMALIS


CARBO ANIMALIS. This remedy is indicated so frequently in cases of advanced pathology that its value in functional disorders is often over- looked. All disease begins in the functional plane and, unless checked, progresses toward structural change and incurability. The homoeopathic remedy is truly life saving and health restoring in the early stages of chronic disease. In terminal conditions we can only hope for palliation. The majority of patients apply for treatment somewhere between these two extremes.


This remedy is indicated so frequently in cases of advanced pathology that its value in functional disorders is often over- looked. All disease begins in the functional plane and, unless checked, progresses toward structural change and incurability.

The homoeopathic remedy is truly life saving and health restoring in the early stages of chronic disease. In terminal conditions we can only hope for palliation. The majority of patients apply for treatment somewhere between these two extremes.

We read in the Materia Medica that Carbo animals “is indicated in the aged when there is a general enfeebled atonic condition with venous engorgement.” “Diseases of elderly persons with marked venous plethora. Complaints in broken down, anemic individuals with glandular infiltrations and much hardness and induration.” “Circulation feeble, stagnated and vital heat sinking to a minimum. Deficient reaction in elderly people”.

Still stressing pathology, we note that “Carbo animalis is frequently the remedy in chronic ulcers and fistulous openings where the walls tend to become hard and the discharge acrid. Swollen, painful, indurated glands in neck, axilla, groin and breast. This remedy has been one of the most suitable for old, stubborn, cancerous affections”.

All of the above sounds very much like a case for the undertaker, but Carbo animalis has a wide field in case where there are not indurations, infiltrations, ulcerations or observable pathology. Like any other remedy it may become indicated at any time of life.

This medicine has some very characteristic and reliable symptoms. The first is exhaustion, weakness, enervation and general aggravation from apparently slight causes and small depletions. A mild case of diarrhoea appears to sap the patients vitality out of all proportion. A slight leucorrhoea is described as terribly weakening. A moderate menstrual flow is so depleting that it requires the next two weeks for the patient to get her strength back. Breast feeding becomes impossible, it wears her down and no hysteria about it. A man of thirty-two actually dreaded the sexual act because of the utter exhaustion which continued for days afterwards.

While night sweats in tuberculous subjects are often exhausting, a non-tuberculous individual requiring Carbo animalis may complain that a very moderate amount of perspiration actually drains away his strength. Incidentally, the sweat of this remedy produces a very pronounced yellow stain.

Easily strained from lifting even small weights is a well verified symptom and one that is perfectly true to form. slight straining or over0lifting causes dyspnoea, constriction of the chest and a feeling of debility out of all proportion to the apparent cause. Objects seem much heavier than they are. The ankles are easily sprained and turned while walking. Has to watch every step.

Carbo animalis patients become slaves to their own routine. Any change may upset them, especially if it involves any extra effort, whether mental, physical, respiratory or digestive, whether conscious or unconscious. A change of altitude, climate or seasons may aggravate. Any abrupt change in the daily routine may disturb the digestion or otherwise aggravate.

An outstanding characteristic of this wonderful remedy is aversion to and aggravation from exposure to a very dry, cold atmosphere. A dry, cold wind which put pep into lots of people causes the Carbo animalis patient much discomfort. It makes him feel sluggish and aggravates him in general. Note that it is both the coldness and the dryness. He thrives best in a relatively moist atmosphere. Markedly worse in a heated room, if the air is dry. A close, poorly ventilated room will aggravate.

Feels the need of plenty of fresh air to breathe at night. Wants windows wide open but the head and neck must be well protected from the least draft. Some of these patients will sleep with a scarf or towel wrapped around the head and yet will complain at even a suggestion about closing the windows. However, they seldom, if ever, desire to be fanned, as is so characteristic of the vegetable carbon.

“Hearing confused, cannot tell from what direction a sound comes.” This is well proven symptom. a number of people talking in a group is most annoying. Shuns group conversations as much as possible. This confusion of sounds and difficult orientation of hearing has been observed in cases with only slight auditory impairment. It is probably of circulatory origin and on the venous side. Head noises may or may not be associated with this condition.

Eugene Underhill
Dr Eugene Underhill Jr. (1887-1968) was the son of Eugene and Minnie (Lewis) Underhill Sr. He was a graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. A homeopathic physician for over 50 years, he had offices in Philadelphia.

Eugene passed away at his country home on Spring Hill, Tuscarora Township, Bradford County, PA. He had been in ill health for several months. His wife, the former Caroline Davis, whom he had married in Philadelphia in 1910, had passed away in 1961. They spent most of their marriage lives in Swarthmore, PA.

Dr. Underhill was a member of the United Lodge of Theosophy, a member of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society. He was also the editor of the Homœopathic Recorder.